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applestar
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Re: Applestar’s 2018 Garden

We have a new toy :-()
Our hard-working multi-function convection toaster oven finally bit the dust so DH decided to upgrade and bought a larger model with even more functions... one of them being dehydrator. It came with one wire basket/tray.

I decided to give it a trial run —

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...looks like I will be buying 2 more optional dehydrator trays for the other two rack slots. :()

...another function I’m eager to try is dough-proofing. I can use it for yogurt culturing, too. :D

...DH has declared he will be testing the air-fry function today, using chicken wings, some of which will be turned into buffalo wings. :wink:

...DD’s are waiting their turn for dehydrating apple slices :wink: :wink:
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digitS'
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Re: Applestar’s 2018 Garden

AppleStar, I wish my DW had your enthusiasm for dehydration. She freezes some things - like sweet corn, green beans and cherry tomatoes. I give her credit for that.

We eat fresh vegetables 12 months/year, even if we have to drag them here from several thousand miles away. I will eat canned corn but don't like frozen. She eats frozen but doesn't like canned :wink: .

I gave her a dehydrator as a gift about 10 years ago. Maybe kitchen appliances are a bad choice for gifts. I knew that she never used it. About 5 years ago, I noticed that the seal on the box had never been broken :roll: . It's become something of a family joke that there is a gift on a basement shelf that has never been opened.

Back on topic: DW will freeze peppers, cooked and run through the food processor. (Must have bought that appliance herself :wink: .) Frozen, they can be used in a sauce. Even hot peppers can be used that way, by opening the container and scrapping a little up with a spoon. Just something that she does as a creative food preservation effort.

:) Steve
oh, and she buys those dehydrated apple slices!
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Re: Applestar’s 2018 Garden

I didn't even know there was such a thing. That being said, I have a lot of unopened appliances as well. I buy a blender for one recipe then I never use it, so I sell it or give it away, then I buy another one for another recipe I only make once. Then when I wanted to make smoothies, I ended up buying a different blender for that. I did use that one until I burned out the motor with ice. I have a ninja bullet now. I do however have an immersion blender, that I really love. I don't use it every week, but I have used it a few times to puree soups and blend banana smoothies minus the ice. I froze the banana and used frozen fruit instead of ice and cold milk.
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applestar
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Re: Applestar’s 2018 Garden

Today’s harvest

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Highlight on the peppers

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Some of the seeds are starting to sprout in the Patio SIP’s — I see brassica seedlings — maybe arugula or kale? And some lettuce....

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... in the square pot on the left, I HAD a couple of broccoli starts growing, but the groundHOG found it :evil: — so I tried sowing some carrot and winter radish seeds instead
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Re: Applestar’s 2018 Garden

Aaarrrrgh!!! GroundHOGS are the WORST! :evil:

Yesterday — I Did harvest the flowering kale but somehow, it did not occur to me to harvest the rest of the Tronchuda and Dazzling Blue kales
Image
...today after returning home from DD’s piano lesson Image
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Re: Applestar’s 2018 Garden

Yeah this is going to be a pain.
- I’ve adjusted my motion activated door chime in that garden, but may have to resort to the shrieking alarm mode.
- Though inadequate, I’ve set up motion activated security cameras.
- I’m going to try to harvest ahead of the critter as much as possible.


Today’s harvest —
...my persimmon harvester is working beautifully...Image
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Recap of some of the major persimmon harvests so far not including handfuls here and there — all told, I think I must have harvested around 50 fruits so far. :D

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- I’m sorting them according to softness. Some of them have split skin by the time I harvest due to full ripeness and excessive moisture from rains, etc. Also they split if they miss the cup and drop to the ground.

- Have found out thanks to some timely comments and recommendations from other members here that (instead of trying to ripen them on the counter like tomatoes and peaches) keeping them in ziplock bags in the meat bin of the fridge makes them ripen evenly and thoroughly to full gooey sweetness.

- I’m going to try preserving some of them — will try dip in boiling water peel then deseed, divide/section, and dehydrate into soft leather.
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Re: Applestar’s 2018 Garden

Featuring several views of Thai Kang Kob x Seminole x Tronboncino segregate harvested today —

The flattened lobed one with speckles is closer to the Thai Kang Kob type. The oddly shaped tall fruit with NO SIGNIFICANT NARROWING IN THE NECK (Seminole trait) is the line I want to pursue. This one is not as big as I had hoped for though....

Image
...I wonder if the difference in the size of the blossom-end scar means anything?
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digitS'
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Re: Applestar’s 2018 Garden

I do not have gardens to provide wildlife food. I wonder how many people begin gardening only to give up on the effort because of pests. They return to a diet of 100% commercial products, limited and using methods that they would prefer to avoid.

My food crops and I are a team that have been a part of human and Earth history for countless generations. Part of my commitment is to a sustainable effort and not just exploitation. Hopefully, Nature is a very important part of the gardening team. I have to rely on some outside experts to help me not drift from this commitment with inadvertent damage to the environment.

This does not mean that I will abandon my efforts to contribute to my own diet. Certainly not, if it means supporting an out-of-bounds pest population. Living cooperatively and with respect for wildlife doesn't go that far. I will guard my garden. And, I intend to continue to be involved in both producing and consuming human food.

Steve
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Re: Applestar’s 2018 Garden

I know what you mean. In this instance, though I blame myself because I should have known to harvest those kale — I knew it was going to come back next day. I was just too tired. So I cry about it to fellow gardeners who understand the disappointment and fury, and all those other emotional responses.

My tolerance will only go so far. But my situation is complicated.

In some ways, I’m being irresponsible and lazy — If I can discourage it enough, it will go elsewhere, preferably to the farms and properties with gardens that still exist in this neighborhood that are zoned “rural” even if they are only on the other side of a line on the map, where they can shoot it or trap it and kill it without getting tangled up in the “residential” zone conundrum and red tape.

In “rural” zone, they can kill anything that threatens their food crop. Apparently, on my “residential” zone property, I am NOT growing food crops that economically impact my family and am not allowed to take drastic measures to protect them — To be strictly within the legal umbrella, I have to call the local wildlife control who will charge something like $75 for inspection plus charge for trapping and removal depending on animal and difficulty level.

Even if I were to live trap it, I am technically not allowed to release or kill and must call for removal service who will charge for the same service call. If done on the sly and get caught, there will be fines. If we actually kill it which neither DH nor I are comfortable about, I can’t just throw the body over the fence like I do with dead goldfish or cat-leftover mice.... (it’s wooded back there but it’s a community green zone/recreation area and there is a walking path through the woods 5 - 8 feet from the fence, basketball court a little further along, and children’s playground at the end of the walking path just past the woods) To top it off, we are not supposed to bury dead bodies, period.
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Re: Applestar’s 2018 Garden

BTW, I often talk with the owner of my daughter’s piano lessons/music school while I’m waiting for her. I found out he lives in a rural area and keeps chickens. In fact he sometimes brings and gives us fresh eggs as well as some extras harvested from his garden — he lets me choose what I want because he knows I have a garden, too. He lamented that there were deer, and his wife wants him to go out and shoot them.

...at this point, I was starting to think I might be able to livetrap the 4-legged pests then ask him to take care of them...

Then his stories turned a corner, and he said he wants to catch and raise chipmunks like he used to when he was a boy. (I stopped myself just in time and refrained from telling him *my* chipmunk stories, changed tack and told him they are sold as pets in Japan). His wife is getting frustrated with him because he won’t pick up his gun to get rid of the deer. He said he’s seen enough killing during his time in service and he’s getting older with heart problems, and he finds that he doesn’t want to take life much any more....


Now how could I ask him after he told me that?

...wildlife removal service is “licensed to kill” the trapped animals...
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Re: Applestar’s 2018 Garden

My new security camera and motion alert caught the rascal on approach ... Image

Image
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Re: Applestar’s 2018 Garden

Today’s Harvest

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Re: Applestar’s 2018 Garden

Harvest photos
Image


In the photo collage above, I included a shot of the beans and cucumbers climbing up the cherry tree and fruiting way above my reach (I’m using a cinderblock standing on end as a step stool to harvest them)

Here are some more photos of the trellis they were supposed to stay on ... it’s an admittedly rickety affair from last year. X bamboo pole supports and a bamboo cross brace with nylon netting. About 1/2 way into the growing season, the cross brace failed and I had to zip tie on supplemental bamboo poles, then a Fiberglas whip pole to keep the now multi-pole cross brace from sagging.

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...the little bed is only 24 inches by 48 inches but is mulched on three sides with the 18 inch deep, 48 inch x 48 inch bed on the northeast side.
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Re: Applestar’s 2018 Garden

I’m looking at my vigorously rambling winter squash vines. They are happily blooming male flowers every day, and closing and dropping them the next day. Rare female blossoms, even when pollinated, shrivel the embryo and drop them. I’m thinking if this is going to continue, I should really harvest those blossoms and make rice stuffed squash flowers and cheese stuffed and deep fried appetizers.....

On the other hand, they might be welcome forage for the occasional honeybees from the area. For the most part, they are covered in dozens of fruit flies though..... What to do......

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Re: Applestar’s 2018 Garden

I was thinking of putting this in the “weather” thread, but I’m going to put this here because it’s related to what my DD said about my garden’s “tendency to put on a show for you” recently.

The Michael remnant is here as heavy steady rain and woke me up at 2am. I was listening to the rain, and realized that when a rain drop hits something on the roof or side of the house, it makes a metallic pinging sound. At first it rarely happened, but just when I thought it wasn’t doing it any more, I would hear it again. ...ping ... ping....

Then my DD1 walked by, humming to a tune on her headphones. So, I told her to take them out and listen to the rain for a bit — There’s a fascinating ping when the drops hit something just right. ...We listened together for a minute... No pinging sound. She gave it another minute.... nope.

She said “It’s meant to be for you. It’s not meant for me” and walked on to the bathroom. ...As soon as she walked away, there they were, ping and more ping.... it was a veritable concert, like flicking teeth of a metal comb.... Then she came by on her way back — and I dared to ask her to take her earbuds out again.... nope, suddenly just regular sounds of rain.

Her conclusion ...see, it’s not meant for me...

She plugged her earbuds back in but hung out for a bit, talking to me about this and that, and I refrained from pointing out that the pinging was recurring. But just before she left, there was another flurry of pings, and I finally couldn’t hold back any more, and talked her into removing the earbuds again, and YAY! She got to hear them. :D

— She said the sound is like a water droplet hitting a ceramic bowl.
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Re: Applestar’s 2018 Garden

The big veggie garden is associated with the neighbor's garden. It's all his property, with fallow and alfalfa hay fields beyond.

Each year, he has the tractor guy till at least once in the spring. Springtime, there is about an acre of bare ground that we divide and share. There is no difference between the square feet to be easily seen from north to south, east to west. Tilled dirt.

By late summer, I can stop on a garden path and reflect on all that has gone on within one step, in any direction. I could be stopping behind some plants taller than I am. I could be standing beside little plants at my feet that represent hours of my activity. I have a sense of partnership, of belonging.

Steve :)
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Re: Applestar’s 2018 Garden

I like that digitS — sense of connection with our garden..... :D
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Re: Applestar’s 2018 Garden

We had heavy frost this morning. Yesterday, I scrambled to harvest most of everything that were left —

Image

...in spite of the unfavorable location and neglect and squirrels :evil: two of the Pink and Purple Mexican corn managed to completely mature, with dried out husks, and yielded enough for me to save for seed corn. Are they acclimating to this region and imparting earlier maturing trait to their offspring? I guess we will find out next year.

- oh and those two are test dug sweet potatoes. I found a couple of suspicious burrow holes, which may mean something — voles, chipmunks — have got to them. I’m digging them up as soon as I recover from yesterday’s heavy work harvesting and hauling in all the container plants.... :|
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Re: Applestar’s 2018 Garden

With the expected sustained freezing temp overnight, I opted to harvest the rest —


Image

...I had decided a while ago that I was tired of harvesting beans, so stopped conscientiously picking them, expecting the vines to quit making any more and start maturing them. Um... what? I ended up with nearly full 2-gallon bucket of beans from the VGB TRELLIS. The plastic bag contains more beans from the Red Noodle beans, Blue Coco beans, and the two green beans that I can’t remember the names of atm from the Sunflower House bed and the Haybale Row bed.

I also dug up the sweet potatoes. They grew well but had been defoliate by the groundHOG during the last month or so when I think they would have been fattening up the tubers. I may give sweet potatoes just one more try next year — planting ONLY the early maturing varieties like Georgia Jet , Porto Rico, Beauregard... I think another one is Carolina Ruby. I’m not sure I will like them though.... I really prefer the dry sweet flesh varieties.

But I may have to concentrate on trialing sweet dessert type C. moschata winter squash, which when all is said and done, yield more to harvest for the amount of space they take up.

...I didn’t take pictures, but I also harvested some nasturtium leaves and flowers, and harvested whole calendula plants for making tincture... aaaand I just remembered I should have harvested echinacea plants, too. Darn. I will just gave to dig up some roots later.
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Re: Applestar’s 2018 Garden

Apple,
I was amazed at how long those red noodle beans kept producing, despite the cold, as they really like heat! I finally pulled mine, too, along with the squash vines - have almost 4 cans full of lawn trash, which is mostly those. Got a good number of squash blossoms, while doing that!

What variety of moschata are you referring to? How much do you get per plant? Is it so sweet that you can only use it for desserts? This variety of butternut that I grow - Polaris - gets huge vines (just 2 filled an area of about 4' x 30', and I kept training it back into the area. I got 17 squash from those two, plus 2 unripe, but large ones I got today, which I'll use first.
Dave

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applestar
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Re: Applestar’s 2018 Garden

Wow that Polaris butternut sounds really productive! ...I want to stick with OP varieties though... I might try South Anna Butternut listed at Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. I tried Nutterbutter this year. The fruits turned out smaller than I expected — half as big as last year’s — but maybe this was gardener error.

I’m still playing with my Thai Kang Kob x Seminole cross and pursuing the tall pumpkin-shaped segregate — you can see two example of this year’s grow out in the photo above— but I would like to try growing Tahitian Melon, even though that one is a 120 day squash. Another one I want to try is Long Island Cheese. I was trying to grow Upperground Sweet Potato this season, but accidentally got the Thelma Sander’s instead. Oh I grew Greek Sweet Red this year, but it only just started to bloom.

...most C. moschata are late maturing, so that’s another tricky issue...
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Re: Applestar’s 2018 Garden

I had to go on a last-minute shopping spree for a family event this morning, and as I was trying to hurry inside with my purchases, I noticed that the saffron crocuses in the front porch-side bed have BEEN blooming. At lease one of the flowers had been beaten down to the ground by last night’s rain.

I INTENDED to go back outside and pluck those anther threads, but somehow, got caught up with other matters inside and totally forgot. I will have to make sure to harvest the saffron tomorrow before I get involved in anything else, and also go out back and check the patio side Kitchen Garden bed where I planted more saffron and see if they have made an appearance....

They never seem to bloom until after first few frosts, and they always catch me unprepared.
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Re: Applestar’s 2018 Garden

I cleaned up the garden a little more, removing dead plants (curtting at soil level) and pulling up the stakes and supports to stack or collect for winter storage.

The nasturtiums and salvia weren’t done —
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...I harvested some of the perfect-looking nasturtium leaves and a full sprig
Image


These White Soul alpine strawberries, a single but huge Prelude red raspberry, and a cluster of Anne yellow raspberries ptovided special treats:
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These were planted with expectation to fall harvest — they might be good for baby greens right now. They will last longer if I rig some kind of protection —
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Image
...Today, I finally got around to planting the onions and a lone brassica that was still in the seedling tray.


I still have this row of brassicas and daikon growing, though they are still small. Can you see the pink variety? — I have to remember to harvest these before hard frost regardless of how big they are.
Image


Chicago Hardy fig still has some fruits left on the branches. I harvested four that were starting to soften
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...and this late sprouted volunteer squash in the Sunflower House bed has set a single fruit. It’s about baseball-size right now....
Image
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Re: Applestar’s 2018 Garden

Expecting mid- to upper teens °F overnight and low teens tomorrow night. So, went around the garden scrounging up another last minute salvageables....

- pulled/harvested all the daikon and Korean radish — they were small, with biggest being about 2” diameter... could be I planted them late... or the exctra cold and short fall this year. These kinds of temperatures are not normally here for another month. Some nice radish tops/greens that I will be able to make use of though.
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- I left the rest of the tunnel secure but uncovered beyond the insect screen... low teens is pretty much their survivable limit though
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- dug up the last rosemary and also the Korean Guchugaru Yong Gochu looked possibly still alive — potted them up. Also brought inside the seed grown pomegranates as well as some orange mint cuttings and chocolate mint cuttings.
- moved two container strawberries closer to the house to hopefully keep them alive.
- pulled the covers off the patio pepper sip and another patio sip — those look shot — and used them to cover up the vermicomposter bin and the greens sips. They may or may not make it past the dip into low teens.
- emptied most of the buckets and one rain barrel that had water in them. Left one bucket that had a goldfish in it. It might survive... it might not.
- put away a few clay pots that hadn’t been put away yet in the shed
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Re: Applestar’s 2018 Garden

I made a winter squash stew today from one of the flattened shaped Thai Kang Kob cross.
Image
I’m thinking it’s the one that was harvested on 9/17 and not the one that was harvested on 9/27, but I didn’t label them after harvesting this year....

I started with the daikon and turnip greens from yesterday — chopped finely into 1/4” segments, they became very tender after initial sweating down with lacto-fermented myoga and garlic preserved in sake, onions and yielded superb flavor. I also added last of my own dried shiitake as well as broth from dried kombu (kelp) and sake (rice wine) — all great sources of umami — and used wings and legs of roast chicken for additional flavor and meat, then added tahini and potato starch/rice milk slurry to thicken. For additional texture and nutty flavor interest, I added hulless pepitos and walnut pieces.


9/17/18 harvest
Some of the Arkansas Black apples are starting to come in — these apples are going straight into the fridge to mellow out and develop flavors until next month. The blemished ones are already ripe enough for good eating as fresh spicy/tart apples or for baking.
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Wire colander of herbs — rosemary, sage, stevia, lemon verbena, lemon balm


Sep 27, 2018
Featuring several views of Thai Kang Kob x Seminole x Tronboncino segregate harvested today —

The flattened lobed one with speckles is closer to the Thai Kang Kob type. The oddly shaped tall fruit with NO SIGNIFICANT NARROWING IN THE NECK (Seminole trait) is the line I want to pursue. This one is not as big as I had hoped for though....

Image
...I wonder if the difference in the size of the blossom-end scar means anything?
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Re: Applestar’s 2018 Garden

I’ve been worried about the Mrs. Aquillard’s Striped Cushaw for about a month now, — I posted about harvesting it on Sept, 7 (p.15). So I finally cut it open and roasted it to start eating it.

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As soon as it was done roasting, I made this with a part of the flesh.
かぼちゃのコロッケ (Kabocha croquette)
https://oceans-nadia.com/user/24312/recipe/144149

Since I didn’t have ground pork handy — and here comes my sometimes random leap — I cut up my leftover half of a mushroom, sweet red pepper, onion steak sandwich on a 16 inch roll (so 8” portion) into 1/2” cubes, then quickly sautéed with the onions in butter. Instead of soy sauce, I used salted koji. Oh and I added some toasted sesame oil and virgin coconut oil to the EVOO.

The croquettes turned out great! My Mrs. Aquillard’s was a mild and somewhat watery squash, but I followed the instructions to dredge in plenty of flour (I used white whole wheat) if using watery squash.

Because I had included the sandwich bread, the filling turned into something like a savory bread pudding, creating a creamy mouthfeel, and the bits of presumably beef round slices and mushrooms added satisfying texture.

I had mine with BBQ sauce #6 from the local BBQ place and a bit of lemon juice... with a side of blue cheese dip leftover from a take-out buffalo wings. DD had hers with mayonnaise, and DH had his with ketchup and pickles. :D


...Later, I separated the flesh from the skin with a gravy ladle (for some reason, that shape was perfect for this job), drained the liquid a bit, then puréed in the blender. It was still a bit too wet, tending to pool liquid, so I moderately strained it in a small mesh strainer, then saved the results separately. 14 oz was measured out to use in a pie recipe. I’m envisioning using the liquid and some of the purée to adapt and use in a peanut soup recipe.
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